If this new 5 year contract is approved, we will remain the only major city in Texas without an independent Citizen’s Review Board.
While the City has played a role in propelling tougher discipline for officer misconduct, we are disappointed that they did not bring an independent citizens advisory board to the negotiating table. At SAPOA’s press conference today, union president Danny Diaz claimed this item wasn’t brought to their attention.
We are disappointed that Danny Diaz refused to act with transparency, while advocating for clear and open communication at the press conference. He not only denied the citizens advisory board as a known issue, he also denied the real changes that were made to the arbitration process during these negotiations. SAPOA has seen the list of demands, and they know which issues have been our community’s highest priorities. SAPOA has just as much responsibility for bringing items pertaining to police accountability and transparency to the negotiating table as the City does. If they’re serious about good faith negotiations, they should be forthright about what happens in these conversations—including just how hard the community had to fight to limit the role of an arbitrator in overturning the firing of bad officers.
Out of the 5 major cities in Texas, San Antonio is the only one that doesn’t have an independent review board. Last fall, Councilmembers Cabello-Havrda, Viagran, and McKee-Rodriguez expressed concern about the lack of diversity on the current CCARB (Chiefs Complaint and Review Board), and Deputy City Manager and lead City negotiator Maria Villagomez explained that any changes to the CCARB would have to be done through contract negotiations. To date, City negotiators have failed to address it as a priority item in the CBA. We are asking council members not to approve this new contract until the necessary changes to the CCARB Board have been brought to the table.
It should be made clear that further reform is still needed. We cannot negotiate our safety, and we will not stop until our communities are protected from law enforcement officers who escape accountability.
City Council must ensure this contract meets our community’s demands for safety and accountability.
ACT 4 SA empowers the San Antonio community through year-round base building, grassroots actions, educational campaigns, and more to achieve the accountable, compassionate, and transparent public safety system we all deserve.